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  • jenny7157

Crispy duck bao buns w/ tahini satay sauce

Updated: Jul 17

Served w/ a crunchy, shredded vegetable coleslaw

Designed specifically for my demonstration on the Game Theatre stage at the Great Yorkshire Show 2024.

Serves 3 - 4 for lunch or can make up part of a spread for dinner.

We use a braised duck method to get the flavour into the duck, followed by a blast in the air fryer to create the crispiness. If you don't have an air fryer the last step can be done in the oven.

The tahini satay sauce is a nut-free alternative to classic peanut satay sauce, developed by fellow chef Lucy Afong. We've since taken it on and adapted it for many audiences, including 1500 ramen kits to a viral TikTok campaign.


For crispy duck

2 duck legs - we like R&J Yorkshire's Finest

200ml Shaoxing Wine or dry sherry such as Amontillado

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon dark brown sugar

2 star anise

1 cinnamon stick

1 teaspoon fennel seeds

1 teaspoon of cloves

1 teaspoon of black peppercorns (or Sichuan peppercorns if you have them)

(the above spices are the ingredients in Chinese Five Spice. If you don't have them individually you can substitute with a couple of teaspoons of five spice powder).


For tahini satay sauce

3 tablespoons tahini

1 tablespoon of dark brown sugar

2 tablespoons of soy sauce

2 tablespoons of Chinese black vinegar

2 tablespoons of sesame oil

A pinch of chilli flakes (adapt the heat level to your taste)

1 clove of garlic

An inch cube of root ginger, peeled

A handful of coriander - stems only - retain the leaves for the coleslaw

For crunchy coleslaw

1 carrot - peeled and julienned into 5cm long matchsticks

3 spring onions - cut into 5cm long pieces then julienned

1/2 a small head of little gem lettuce - finely shredded

A 5cm piece of cucumber - julienned into matchsticks

1 fresh red chilli, seeds removed and finely diced (check the hotness of your chilli by eating one small piece, then adapt how much you use to your taste)

A handful of picked coriander leaves (retained from the sauce)

A lime

To serve

8 bao buns

Crispy fried onions (optional) - we use Dinos


The duck. Preheat the oven to 160c. Place the duck legs in a small roasting tin - one where they fit fairly snugly. Add the rest of the ingredients and top with a little water so that the duck is submerged at least halfway up the flesh. Cover the roasting tin tightly with kitchen foil and place in the oven for approximately two hours, or until the flesh is falling away from the bone. Carefully take the duck out of the braise and allow it to dry out on a plate.

Extra step. If you have the time, pass the braising liquor through a fine sieve into a shallow container, then place the liquid in the fridge so that the fat solidifies and you can easily remove it. Transfer the retainer liquor to a saucepan and reduce until thick and sticky. Use this to glaze the dry duck legs. If you don't have time to do this step, use a small amount of the tahini satay dressing to glaze the duck before crisping up.

For the tahini satay sauce. Place all ingredients in a blender or small food processor and blitz until smooth. Transport to a small bowl or ideally a squeezy bottle.

For the crunchy coleslaw. Prepare the vegetables into the same sized (approx 5cm) thin matchsticks and combine in a bowl with the red chilli, coriander leaves and dress the whole thing lightly with lime juice and a touch of the tahini satay sauce.

To crisp up the duck. Air fry the duck legs (which you have glazed in your reduced liquor or some tahini satay sauce) in an air fryer basket set at 200c for approximately 8 - 10 minutes, until golden brown. Remove the duck legs then shred the flesh, removing the bones, ready to stuff your bao buns. If you like the duck extra crispy, you can pop it back in the air fryer briefly when shredded to get more caramelised pieces.

To steam the bao buns. You can use a bamboo steamer on top of a saucepan, or any steamer pan with a lid. Grease the steamer basket or line with greaseproof paper. Put some boiling water in the base of the pan and place the the steamer section on top, ensuring there is clear space between the two and water is not touching the steamer. Place your bao buns in the steamer, make sure they don't touch each other as they may stick together. You'll likely have to steam the buns in batches of 4 at a time. Pop the lid on the steamer and cook for 4 - 5 minutes until the bread is fluffy and hot all the way through.

To assemble. Carefully take your hot bao buns and open them out on a board. generously drizzle tahini satay sauce onto the top and bottom of the inside of the bun, then pile in some coleslaw and some crispy duck. Top with some crispy onions, then quickly close up and eat as soon as possible! If you are taking to a table you can secure them shut with mini skewers, but generally they don't last that long.


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